SALEM — For months, there was just one open store in the Route 28 Mall plaza. But with several new leases being signed or negotiated, the former home of Furniture World is beginning to fill up.

Used Book Superstore recently opened in 13,500 square feet on the first floor of 419 Broadway. Peter Carbone of Taurus New England Investment, which manages the property, said business has been good so far.

"Early reports are the store is doing very well, and they're very happy," he said.

Taurus also signed a lease with a pet store, Carbone said. That property will also be on the first floor and occupy about 7,500 square feet, he said.

"They'd like to open the store sometime in the next 30 to 45 days," Carbone said.

Taurus is negotiating to lease another first-floor space to someone who would turn it into a "gourmet pizza" restaurant, he said. Several plans for the restaurant have been drawn up and presented to the Planning Board.

"It looks favorable that we will likely end up coming to an agreement with them," Carbone said of the pizza entrepreneur.

If the pizza deal pans out, Carbone said there will only be 4,000 square feet of first-floor space left to rent in the plaza.

Carbone said he was very happy with the leasing of the building.

"It's been empty for a long time," he said. "The leasing has really picked up over the last three or four months."

And while the building was dark for months except for the White Street Paint and Wallpaper store, Carbone said the high-visibility location is expected to be busy.

"People are going to start seeing a lot more activity," he said.

Salem has seen several other vacancies filled recently. Sports Authority will move into the former Linens 'n Things store at 290 S. Broadway. The store is expected to open by summer.

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